Monday, April 11, 2016

Quilting Interrupted

I recently took a trip to Austin to visit my kids. I love Austin and the times that I get to spend with them. One of the highlights was a trip to Waco to visit Magnolia Market.
If you are not aware of what Magnolia Market is, you really need to watch Fixer Upper with Chip and JoJo Gaines. 
It is just amazing how this show and remarkable couple has changed Waco! The Silos in downtown Waco are now a shop complete with a store with lots of items for decorating, a family play area, food trucks and picnic tables. 
While the kids were at work, I spent time hiking with Sadie, my 'grandpup.' We had ventures to the Botanical Gardens and the Boardwalk.

My DD2 and I also crafted a bit making a wreath for our doors. Here is mine. 
Many more fun memories!
Once I was back home, I got busy on the April Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Orange is the color of the month! 

Here are 4 of the 6 blocks that are finished. 
I also worked on making a few more Little Blue Houses for a total of 12!
These are fun to make...not sure when I'll stop.
Also, this past weekend was the International Quilt Festival in Chicago! I love this show. Although I took many pictures, I will only show you a few of my favorites. 
Love the concept of the Drunkard Path block used as Butterflies!
Amazing work!
Beautiful colors and stunning hand work!
I was excited to see this quilt in person! Lovely!
Another great quilt using the Drunkard Path block!
This winner is a woven quilt. If you look closely at the detail shot, you can see the structure of this quilt. Amazing pop art!

I'm back in my quilt room, starting a new project with several more swirling in my brain...inspiration is everywhere!

Hope you have a great quilting day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Finish!

Have you ever felt so exhausted that even picking up a needle was too much. That about sums up the days that I have spent over at my mom's...sorting, cleaning, organizing, packing up and throwing out. 
And although we are close, we are still not done...and that is just to get ready for an estate sale!
The accumulation of 63 years of stuff! 
My mom and dad bought the house right before they got married and never moved. My childhood home.
It makes you want to clean out my own home!

That being said, it took me forever Ü to sew the binding on this quilt! I put the last stitch in on Monday night!
Finally, finished!
I made this quilt for a friend that 'found' my antique cabinet where I now store by quilts. I have been looking for the right cabinet for some time. 
Isn't it yummy? The finish is worn which gives it a beautiful chippy paint look but it is very clean inside!
Anyways, the quilt is her 'finder's fee'. 
My friend loves peacocks and green so I based the theme around the colors in a peacock feather. 
If you're on Instagram you can find her here. She is very talented and has quite the following. 
I found the picture of a similar quilt layout on Pinterest. So I got my trusty graph paper and pencils and drew up the quilt. 
I did the quilty math.
As I was making the blocks, I realized with just one additional line of stitching, I would make 2 HST for each block. I incorporated those in the borders.
The back is a large print with peacocks that I found and fell in love with! I did need to piece it so the pattern would line up better. 
I did mostly straight line quilting with diagonal lines in the blocks, sashing and borders. In the sashing, where it comes together to create a square on point, I FMQ a motif. 
Melissa's mantra is 'The Quest Is The Best!' which is know to some of her friends as TQITB. So, I named the quilt TQITB.
The finished size is 59" x 68.5"
Shh, it's a surprise! Hope she likes it!
I'm heading to Austin tomorrow for a 9 days visit with my Texas kids! I'm ready for some warm weather!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I'm back with a progress report!

Yesterday, I turned the page on my calendar to March! Yikes, I can't believe how fast these months go by. I was anxious to see the announcement for the color of the month so I headed over to the so scrappy blog to get the news!
I got right down to business pulling purple scraps from my scrap bin. I had already cut some low volume pieces for the blocks. 

I also added a few new houses for a total of 6 Little Blue Houses!
Aren't they just too cute!

I pieced these blocks between working on quilting the baby quilt that my daughter and I are working on together. 
Last Saturday, we worked on piecing the backing together and sandwiching the quilt. We also discussed how to quilt it...keeping it simple. 
We chose some straight line quilting in the row blocks (which I did) and my daughter will do some FMQ in the blank rows and the panel. 

I am also working on the quilting on this quilt...
...the one I mentioned in my previous post but had no pictures.

On another note, I was sad to hear that the Hobby Lobby near me is closing. It was convenient for a quick run to the fabric/craft store. I learned that the management had problems with the building owner over the upkeep of the building. The roof had problems and they had water issues in the building that were not getting fixed. Friday is the last day. Today I headed over to stock up on some Kona cotton that is a staple in my stash. My favorite employee was there so I got to give her a hug. She will be transferred to another store a bit away but at least the next closest. 
I will miss it!
Do you shop Hobby Lobby? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Much has happened since...

Since my last post in November...YIKES, so much has happened. Beginning with my family dealing with how to handle the holidays since my mom's health had progressively deteriorated.  In November, we decided to have my mom receive hospice care. Then the Sunday before Christmas, mom was given too strong medicine and she was knocked out for 3 days. She couldn't respond to us and couldn't swallow. Without any liquids, we thought that she would pass away right at Christmas. My sister and I spent 2 days planning her funeral arrangements. On the 3rd day, she was able to respond and took in some water and liquid supplement.  I had my family (I'm 1 of 6 siblings) over for Christmas since I live the closest to mom's. Each family was able to go from my house to visit mom.
After Christmas, it has been my immediate family's tradition to go away for a short winter holiday. We weren't sure if we were going to make it this year. On the 26th, my husband and I headed to WI.  We weren't sure if we would get a call home but we were able to get in a few days of relaxing with friends.
Then on January 3, 2016, mom passed away. It is always difficult to lose someone close but I truly believe that her passing was a blessing. We mourned the loss of my mom months ago when she lost the will to live. She was always an active and positive person, but once she lost the ability to move, she didn't want to live. My mom loved to laugh and I miss that sound most of all. I know that she is with her Lord and is at peace. 
There is still much to do to clean out her house and settle her estate but I am finding a bit more time to spend in my sewing room.

Last week, I put the finished stitches in the binding of my hunter's star quilt.
I have wanted to make a hunter's star quilt for a while but hadn't found the right contrast fabrics. This fabric is Little Black Dress by Basic Grey for Moda. 
There are a number of ways to make the hunter's star but I used QuiltSmart interfacing panel. This technique is easy to do and you get accurate results. The only issue I had is that it did make the quilt a bit stiff which hampered my quilting. However, once washed, the quilt is nice and soft. 
The main fabric of the backing is a coordinating fabric I found at Joann's. The quilting is FMQ feathers in a ring and triangular shape. I did some straight lined quilting in the borders. It finished at 46.5" x 58.5".

Just this morning a sandwiched another quilt that I have been working on so I hope to have it quilted soon. No pictures yet.

One thing that I want to work on this year is using my scraps. I feel that they are a bit out of control. So I am loosely following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again this year. Chose to make this block however I modified the size. 
My logs are 1 1/2" wide instead of 2" so my finished block size is 16" x 18".
In January, I worked on 3 different blue blocks...dark, medium and aqua. February's color is brown so only 1 block. 
I'm also making little house blocks in blue and white. These houses are paper pieced. The finished size of the block is 4".
Another project is one that I am doing with my DD1. We are making a baby quilt for a friend. It is similar to one that I did here, however I changed one of the row blocks. I made one of the rows and my daughter sewed 2 rows. I then put it together. The top is finished...ready for sandwiching! My daughter wants to do the quilting. This will be her 2nd quilt!
A lot going on so I hope to be back a bit more often. What have you been up to?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The last stitches made yesterday

So I've returned in record time as I put the final stitches in the binding late yesterday! It feels so good to have this quilt has been a long time in the making. 
When I start a quilt for no specific reason, I am usually trying some new technique and/or practicing and perfecting my quilting. That was the case with this quilt. I found this pattern/technique on Pinterest (here). I liked it and it seemed pretty two alike. I had this Bali Pops, Tiramisu, in my stash that a friend gifted me which I thought would look great!
Just cut your jelly roll into 4 10" pieces, mix them up and sew 5 pieces together lengthwise. Add a 21" background it in a round and cut your lengths randomly. This gives the moment in the quilt.
The backing is a neutral background in my stash that again I was gifted.
 Love using fabric from my stash!
The quilting is FMQ vertically in each column using this technique by Lori Kennedy over at The Inbox Jaunt. I just did the double loop leaf using a multi-colored thread (different color on front than back). In the background, I just continued the straight line using FMQ then did a diagonal grid on the top and bottom.
Another finish and it feels so good!

 Hope you have a Blessed Thanksgiving where ever you are! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What's happening

I'm still not finished with the quilt I have talked about in my last 2 posts...but it is almost done! Just a bit more hand stitching of the binding left. 
I keep getting distracted!
I did do a bit of charity knitting along with my knitting club. We knitted washcloths which were packed in shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. 
While I was finishing up the quilting on 'the quilt'...
I had an inspirational idea!
We had been invited to a birthday party and I had previously purchased a felt picnic basket with food from IKEA but I needed something a bit more. 
The idea of a small play picnic blanket popped into my head! 
Does that happen to you?
I stopped what I was doing and took out my graph paper and drew up an idea. 
Then I rummaged through my fabric stash and found the perfect fabric...watermelons!
 This is how it turned out! 
I fused the plates, cup and silverware on to the placemats, then fused the placemats onto the picnic blanket. I used a zigzag stitch around the placemats and straight line around the plates, cup and silverware. 
I added a backing but no batting as I didn't want it too bulky so it would be to easy to fold away. I sewed around the edges right sides together and then turned it. 
I top stitched around the edges and to keep the backing and front together, I straight stitched around the placemats.  
The birthday girl!

You can see a glimpse of the watermelon print backing.
I love giving presents that encourage the use of imagination! 
It can also be educational as she learns to set the table...just use the place settings to show where to place the plates, cup and silverware. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A little TLC needed!

Well, I'm back but not with the quilt that I put on hold for my daughter's quilt. It is still in the works as I needed to order more thread. 
What I have today is the very first quilt that I made. It was a wedding gift for this cute couple back in July of 1996. 
Over the years and as their family grew, it has been loved...
cuddled under, slept under, played on...exactly how I anticipated they use the quilt. 
It is humbling to know that the quilt I made has been so loved!
Jump forward to 2015, and the quilt showed signs of wear that only a truly loved quilt can...faded and threadbare...especially around the binding.
The quilt is a traditional log cabin made on a foundation. I didn't know much about binding a quilt back then so I self bound the quilt with the backing fabric wrapped around to the front. I now know that a single fold binding is so much weaker than a double fold French binding hence the threadbare edges. 
I took the quilt home to give it some TLC and a renewed life. I removed the old binding and trimmed the edges. Believe it or not, I had a piece of the fabric still in my stash so I made a new double fold French binding and attached it. 
The new binding is on and ready to be hand stitched. 
You can see how the fabric has faded over the years.
The quilt is quite large for my first! It measures 62" x 80" and is machine quilted around the logs. For the most part, the quilting has held up nicely. 
I hand quilted a heart in the center of each log cabin and as you can see, most are still in tack. Not too bad for my very first quilt made 19 years ago! 
All ready to go home for some more love!